Cholera: Inevitable Spread to Port-au-Prince

Health Workers in Haiti Brace for Spread of Disease, Say It’s Too Late for Vaccines

The radio announcements and signs appear to have done little. They urge people in Haiti to stay away from potentially contaminated water. But in rural areas north of Port-au-Prince, they still bathe in — and drink from — rivers suspected to be the source of the country’s deadly cholera outbreak. It has already sickened more than 3,300 people and killed 259.

En route to St.-Marc, a town about 60 miles north of Port-au-Prince, ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser stopped in Montrouis, where he was approached by a man who feared the spread of cholera.

Guy Fils-Aime, a Haitian native of Montrouis, told Besser the people there are used to drinking from the river, but now fear they might contract the disease. Two people from his town have died from cholera, Fils-Aime told Besser.

Still, Fils-Aime said the locals in Montrouis have no choice but to use the potentially contaminated water. No chlorine tablets have been delivered to the town, and many cannot afford to buy bottled water.

"There is nothing from anybody," he said.


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